Family-oriented fun for a great cause

Raissa Tetanish
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12th annual Relay for Life will be held during the day for the first time

BIBLE HILL - It's almost time to celebrate, remember and fight back.

Kyle Reid measures off part of a tent site for Saturday's Relay for Life in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. Reid was on the site Thursday volunteering with logistics.

Saturday is the 12th annual Relay for Life, in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, and this year's relay, hosted at Perennia Innovation Park (formerly AgriTech), begins at 1 p.m.

More than 120 invitations have been mailed to cancer survivors to join the event with a survivor's reception, which begins at 11 a.m. It gives cancer survivors, young and old, a chance to gather, share stories and see friends.

"I think this year is going to be a very exciting event because we have changed our format from a nighttime event to a daytime one," said Sharon Bristol, the Canadian Cancer Society's district co-ordinator. "We're looking forward to seeing how that change will go, especially in getting more families engaged."

The main event gets underway with a survivor's lap at 1, followed by opening ceremonies.

With a time change from an overnight event in previous years to a 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. event this year, there are a number of activities for families, especially children.

"We've really expanded our kids' activities and we're hoping a lot of parents will bring their children out to make it a more of a family event and see how much fun it is," Bristol said.

A kids' corner will feature a bouncy house, hamster ball races, face painting, a pillow case race, limbo for kids and even an egg relay race. Kids visiting the corner can also create their own boxcar to go with the relay's overall theme of superheroes. At 4 p.m., children dressed as their favourite superhero, and those who created boxcars, can participate in a theme lap and show off their creations.

Throughout the event, there will be live entertainment on the main stage, including musical acts such as TJ King, Darren House, Scott Nicks and Ben Edwards.

Crystal Mills will be hosting a Zumba session for all at 2:30 p.m., and tug of war starts at 5.

When the daylight hours start to fade away, it will be time for a luminary ceremony, beginning at 9 p.m., with the luminaries being lit around 9:30. The luminaries, which are bags filled with candles, can be purchased for $5 in memory of a loved one lost, or to honour a survivor or someone currently battling cancer. Sales will begin on site at 10 a.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m.

"We know for some people it can be an event of mixed emotions, but we're really hoping people will help make this a celebration of life and make it a tribute to those amazing people we have lost to this disease," said Bristol, adding she hopes people will also realize what is trying to be accomplished - higher survival rates.

Activities for participants in the evening include swimming at Scotia Pool, Zumba again with Mills and a scavenger hunt.

Last year's event saw 450 participants with more than $113,000 raised.

For more information or to donate, visit www.cancer.ca/relay and search for the Truro event.

 

Organizations: Canadian Cancer Society, TJ King, Darren House Scotia Pool

Geographic location: Perennia Innovation Park

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